Songs and Politics in Eastern Africa

Songs and Politics in Eastern Africa

Edited by Kimani Njogu, Hervé Maupeu

Songs and Politics in Eastern Africa brings together important essays on songs and politics in the region and beyond. Through an analysis of the voices from the margins, the authors (contributors) enter into the debate on cultural productions and political change.

The theme that cuts across the contributions is that songs are, in addition to their aesthetic appeal, vital tools for exploring how political and social events are shaped and understood by citizens. Urbanization, commercialization and globalization contributed to the vibrancy of East African popular music of the 1990s which was marked by hybridity, syncretism and innovativeness. It was a product of social processes inseparable from society, politics, and other critical issues of the day. The lyrics explored socials cosmology, worldviews, class and gender relations, interpretations of value systems, and other political, social and cultural practices, even as they entertained and provided momentary escape for audience members. Frustration, disenchantments, and emotional fatigue resulting from corrupt and dictatorial political systems that stifle the potential of citizens drove and still drive popular music in Eastern Africa as in most of Africa.

Songs and Politics in Eastern Africa is an important addition to the study of popular culture and its role in shaping society.

ISBN 9789987449422 | 420 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2007 | Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania | Paperback

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Reviews

...a very useful reference on East African music. The repertoire is very impressive and the analyses accurate and convincing. The book is extremely invaluable in appreciating the political as well as the socio-economic tensions that characterize East Africa."

vol7n°3eng.pdf — PDF document, 24Kb
Frederick Iraki. Mambo, Kenya

About the Editor

Kimani Njogu

Kimani Njogu, an Associate Professor of Kiswahili and African Languages, is a Director of Twaweza Communications and Africa Health and Development International (AHADI). He is a translator of significant works into Kiswahili and has been involved in developing socially committed entertainment programs globally. He has provided training on culturally sensitive and issue based entertainment programming in Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, India, China, St. Lucia, Grenada, Madagascar, Peru, Pakistan, Palau, Nigeria, Laos, Mexico and Peru, among other countries. Kimani is also a writer, literary critic and columnist and his Kiswahili book Ufundishaji wa Fasihi: Nadharia na Mbinu on the teaching of literature won the 2000 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.

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